The Mission Hub

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St.Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerfulmissionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Celebrate the Hope that Saves!

October 23, 2011 is World Mission Sunday, a day set aside by the Holy Father for all Catholics to join in both prayerful and material support so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be preached “to the ends of the earth.” World Mission Sunday is celebrated in every Catholic Church around the world whether it is in the great cathedrals of Europe or a tiny mud-walled chapel in the African bush. This year’s theme in the United States is “Celebrate the Hope that Saves!” Every day through word and deed, missionaries are hard at work spreading the Gospel because of the support of The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies discussed in this column in the last few weeks. At the behest of the Holy Father, these Societies serve our brothers and sisters in places where they are even too poor for an address: places where many have come to know that the people of Boston can be relied on for prayerful support.

Last year, a parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Roxbury MA donated to a mission priest through our Missionary Cooperative Plan. The priest had spoken about catechists, local men and women in Africa who run Sunday worship services in remote outstations in the absence of a priest. These catechists and their spouses walk over 10 miles to their mud-walled chapels. Father told the Boston parish that for $100, he could buy a bicycle so that their “commute” time was cut significantly, allowing the catechist to spend more time in faith formation. When a parishioner handed Father that exact amount after Mass, a promise was made: a bicycle would be purchased.

Last June, I was privileged to visit the Archdiocese of Tororo, Uganda. After touring a parish complex, I was asked to cover my eyes and was led outside. There proudly stood the parish catechist, Joseph and his wife Robin with their new bicycle, a metal plate hanging from the cross bar that read: Donated by Cesar, Boston USA.

Joseph said that every Sunday, he and Robin walked 13 miles to lead the worship service and faith formation classes at his outstation. Now thanks to Boston, they ride. He said as he pedals, he prays, “Thank you God, for Boston!” They now know we are all part of the same family no matter how far apart we live.

Join us at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on 10/23 at 11:30 AM. Cardinal Se├ín will lead our Liturgy, honoring the missionary work of the Church as we “Celebrate the Hope that Saves!”
-Maureen Crowley Heil

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